The Withering Away of the Market

“The robots are coming! The robots are coming!” — Mark Stahlman “Throughout history the amount of time spent at work has never consistently been much greater than that spent at other activities. Even a work week of fourteen hours a day for six days still leaves half the total time for sleeping, eating, and other…
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Markets with Inherent Limits

In their book Markets without Limits, Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski (2016, 15) indicate three possibilities: (1) wrongful possession, (2) incidental limits, and (3) inherent limits. Roughly, wrongful possession means that it is wrong for a person to possess an item or engage in an activity regardless of whether they buy or sell it, therefore it is…
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Economic Imperialism Comes at a Considerable Cost

The moment you (over-)extend the use of market rhetoric, for example, by widening “entrepreneurship” to “social entrepreneurship”, you have to introduce a redundant term–e.g. “business entrepreneurship”–to clarify that you are using the original, narrow sense of the term–e.g. “entrepreneurship”. Another example: “psychic income” calls for “money income”, formerly known simply as “income” (Gary Becker). This problem…
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Collective Persona vs. Shadow: Donald Trump as Killer Clown

It would be overstated to declare Donald Trump as the antichrist.  However, many would agree that he is a malevolent trickster–a dark clown. Primitive societies, it is said, had a tribal unity, with a systemic fusion of religion, government, economy, law, art, and entertainment. Modern societies, on the other hand, supposedly have differentiated subsystems of…
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Natural Equilibrium between Civil and Market Society

The ideal social system contains (1) civil society, (2) market society, (3) either no or minimal government. If that is true, then there must be a natural equilibrium between the size of (1) civil society and the size of (2) market society. We can define (1) civil society as household production that involves social production…
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The Autonomy of the Female Commodity

From the article: “We love to commodify women, but hate and fear women who commodify themselves.” “”Our culture treats women’s bodies as if they only have worth when they are serving someone other than themselves: men’s gaze, commercialism, the concepts of sexual innocence or “purity” that uphold religious ideas. When a woman’s choice comes into…
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Markets Can Be Natural

In Chapter One of his book, Economics without Illusions (2009), Joseph Heath argues that markets cannot exist merely on the basis of self-interest. Referring to the prisoner’s dilemma and collective action problems, Heath argues that the “free rider problem” clearly undermines the three foundations of the market: property, exchange, and contract. “Why plant your own…
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